Wednesday, 25 May 2011

First LRF Wrasse!

A small window in the weather allowed us to have a dabble with some LRF tactics for Wrasse this evening. The session took place across high tide and and hour or so of the ebb. I had previously been struggling with finding the right approach when targeting the Rockfish, plenty of bites had been forthcoming from them but I had failed to hook up during several attempts.
This evenings session changed all that and at last I managed not one but two fish! ok they weren't the biggest Wrasse in the world but it's a start and a confidence booster now that I have an idea of what i'm doing and what the fish want. All thats needed now is to find a few venues capable of producing a reasonable stamp of fish on a regular basis. There is plenty of promising looking ground to go at locally, that is almost completely untapped as far as Wrasse go, it just needs exploring, and thats exactly what we intend to do over the coming weeks as often as possible. There is definitely a certain appeal in fishing for Wrasse, particularly with these methods, and the fish themselves can be stunning to look at with their much and varied colourings and patterns, part of the thrill of hooking one is wondering what colour it's going to turn out to be! The other of course is their fighting prowess, and I'm looking forward to making contact with some of the more serious specimens to experience this. There's a lot of work to be done yet, but if the progress with the Bass fishing so far this year is anything to go by, there's an awful lot to look forward too!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Patchy Sport

As the Title suggests, things have been somewhat patchier than a couple of weeks ago. Winds haven't helped as they have been brisk enough to make things awkward at best, plus they have been quite cool temperature wise so we haven't had those classic warm still muggy evenings that seem to be spot on for the Bass to hunt shoals of baitfish. We have caught a few fish despite the conditions, though nothing of the size bracket of before. Some of the time has been spent pursuing Wrasse as well, but despite plenty of bites from them I am still waiting to hook my first one on the soft lures. In spite the lull we are still driving forward with the new methods, and are learning all the time. This drive is also inspiring us to search out new venues and we fished one of these a few nights ago. A tricky one this, mind you all the best one's are!, bites were forthcoming from the Rockfish again and one in particular put a good bend in my rod before letting go, ( teeth marks in the tail of the lure ). Plenty of scope here too, we only covered one small area and there are many others within the mark to go at, during various stages of the tide. Yesterday we returned to one of our other virgin venues for a daylight Wrasse mission, the one where I had an anomalous Bass a week or so ago. Again bites were forthcoming, though   nothing was hooked. Very frustrating all in all, admittedly we would expect the Bass sport to be intermittent, however, the Wrasse fishing has the potential not only to fill in the time between good Bass catches, but be very exceptional in it's own right. I am sure it will be once we fit all the pieces of the puzzle into place, the spots, the lures, the moods of the fish at the given time, it's all part of the learning curve, and a steep one at that.

This year has been the best Sea angling year of my life, not just for numbers of fish, though I have had seasons fishing bait in years gone by when we have been able to capitalise on sport when it has been there to be had, but not in the way that we are able to using these methods. I am also talking about  the sporting aspect of the way we are fishing. Never would I have dreamed of fishing as light in the sea as I did in freshwater, but oh how I yearned to! Having a fair size Bass tear 30 or 40 yards of braid off the reel is one of those feelings I live for now, rather than just hauling it up the beach on a heavy beachcaster. Between the 8wt Fly rod and the 5-21gram HRF rod and the 0.5-7gram LRF rod, there is enough light sport to last me the rest of my life! It can sometimes take your breath away as  first the Fish bolts off on feeling the hook, ripping braid from the reel, then they stop and violently shake their heads trying to rid themselves of the offending item embedded in their lips. It's not all about big fish either, using the ultra light rods allows us to have fun with the smaller schoolies and other mini species when the big fish angling is out of sorts. The sheer effectiveness of these methods over other forms of sea angling cannot be overstated, of course it's not just a case of buying the gear and catching fish, you have to learn the how, when's and where's of it, but once this is in place, even the basics will have you catching more fish. I can see us going from strength to strength judging by the first few weeks of us using this approach, truly awe inspiring is what it is!

Sadly the wind is back with us for a while now, so it'll be time to tidy and clean the gear, recharge the batteries, and re ignite the fire for when conditions come good again, in the meantime thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Bonus Bass

A short recce of a potential new venue for HRF Bass and Wrasse showed promise with the capture of this fine specimen after just a couple of casts. Conditions seemed less than favourable, or were they? Time will tell, but we were only there about half an hour! Very excitied about this one and can't wait to get stuck into it.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Lightning Storm Bass!

Clearly we were mad...ignoring the forecast of impending thunderstorms we trekked out.
Standing there, waist deep in the dark, rain hammering down, thunder and lightning erupting all around, and us holding carbon rods in a wide open flat space!
We caught some fish though, nothing big, maybe fish of around two and a half pounds.
After an hour and soaked to the skin we called it a night. On the way home the car radio was playing, 'Knocking on Heavens door', we all laughed...

Friday, 6 May 2011

Back at it again

The beastly Easterlies died down sufficiently for us to get out again last night, and with a touch of southerly to it the day was warm and muggy, and it felt right for some Bass.

We arrived at dead low and prepared our gear, the plan was to not fish the 'prime spot' until the optimum time in the tide and so we started fishing a spot with a nice bit of current to it to try and bag an early fish or two. There were fish present from the off, but they were fry feeding and consisted mainly of small pollock and schoolies, such was their pre occupation with the tiny fish they were feasting on, that our lures were almost completely ignored save for the odd tap. No matter we were holding out for their bigger brothers and sisters to come in later in the Tide, so we took a short break while we waited.

While we were sat chatting and surveying the scenery, it occurred to me that there was a spot further along  the beach that we had not looked at and suggested we go take a look just to see if we were missing anything. As we approached to spot and it began to reveal itself in more detail and l I felt the excitement rise, as it was very good looking  indeed. Making a couple of exploratory casts along a ledge where the water was flooding over, my Sluggo was immediately hit and I found myself giving line to an unseen fish. I called to my friend Mr B that I was in and he hurried over to join me. A few moments later I was holding a Bass of around three pounds and beaming with joy! What followed was so hectic we had a job to keep up!, just about every cast our lures were hit by something, and for a short time I seemed to be constantly into Bass, in fact I think three consecutive cast produced three fish on the trot! All the fish were of a good average size ranging up to three pounds or so, and then after a while things went a little quiet. For a time we got hardly any interest and then out of the blue I hooked into the fish I had been waiting for. It's first run tore off at least thirty yards of braid from a fairly tight clutch, and then several more runs left me with a fair amount of line to get back on the reel. At one point close to the end, the fish weeded itself but I was able to walk over to where it was sat, as where we were wading was only waist deep, and change the angle of the line and get it moving again. Then it was in the glow of my headlamp as it was now fully dark and I scooped up a good fish. On the scales it weighed 4.5lb's, a new Soft Plastic's best, boy was I chuffed! Altogether I had 8 Bass in the space of probably an hour, and my friend managed three due to some technical issues with his braid otherwise he would probably have managed around the same number.  

Monday, 2 May 2011

Clouser Variations

The humble Clouser has many guises depending on what you tie it with and how you tie it. Some might say a Clouser is a Clouser, but believe me it isn't. I have experimented with many different materials for this pattern and they have all caught fish. My favourite and the best fish catcher by far is SF Flashblend, using this material produces quite a bulky fly and needs to be tied quite short. Bucktail on the other hand I feel produces a much better result tied fairly long and Sandeel like. Flashblend is much slower sinking when compared to Bucktail.

As the strong Easterly winds are persisting at the moment I had an hour at the vice today and tied up a couple of Clouser variations using UTC tinsel wrapped around the hookshank to produce a shiny belly which I think adds another dimension to them. I also tied a simple generic baitfish from Bucktail. Just a bit of practice to keep my hand in while we wait for these winds to settle a bit!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Uncovering new ground

The last few sessions have yielded no fish for me, not surprising really as my friends and I have been attempting to get to grips with fishing for Wrasse on the soft plastics. The ideal ground for it is hard to find here, as we are not surrounded by the type of structure that is to found in the Rockfish mecca's of Jersey, Gurnsey and Cornwall. With a little hard work and some pioneering spirit however, we have managed to locate a couple of prospective venues and signs have been promising. We experienced bites right from the off, though clearly only from quite small fish, they were hitting the lures but not enough to find the hook, one bite off on the tail of a lure proved this. The interesting thing was that they seemed to show prefferences for certain lures and all but ignored others. Eventually my golden sphered friend Mr B managed to latch into a decent fish and landed a very pretty Wrasse of around a pound and a half. Not a monster but proof that we are on the right track and if a half decent sized fish should come across our lures then there is no reason why we can't be successful on a fairly regular basis. Encouraging and exciting, as it adds yet another dimension to our fishing, and an alternative for when the Bass aren't playing ball. We have some other spots to look at that have a track record of producing good fish on bait, but have to my knowledge never been fished with the SP's before. Sadly at the moment strong Easterly winds are playing havoc with the conditions and we will be on a forced break for the next few days. Time to catch up on chores, re-assess lures and tactics and generally re ignite the fire for when conditions come right again.

I also have some new Fly patterns to tie and try when I get the chance, as I am keen to develop some larger patterns to use when targeting bigger Bass.

Until I can get out again, Thanks for reading.